Send in the clowns? We’re already here

Cameron and Yasmin Day as clowns for their school show at Preston Guild Hall
Cameron and Yasmin Day as clowns for their school show at Preston Guild Hall
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Clowning around is par for the course when you’ve got children, and that is just the adults.

This week, however, it was our children’s turn to act the clown – and they did it in style.

As part of a celebration of friendship, schools throughout the area put on a variety of different performances at the city’s theatre.

All the youngsters put on a spectacular show and displayed amazing talents including energetic dancing and enthusiastic singing while wearing fantastic costumes.

While every act was a joy to watch, I might be a teeny bit biased in thinking that our children’s school stole the show with their wonderful clown routine with perfectly choreographed dancing, singing and acrobatics to Tears of A Clown, Send In The Clowns and 99 Red Balloons.

For the past few years I’ve attended the show on my own as like most parents of twins – or indeed anyone with more than one child – Hubby and I have had to split ourselves in two.

While Yasmin has taken part in the show for the past few years, Cameron hasn’t and the big night has always clashed with his football or Cubs activities so we have had to take a child each.

However, this year, Cameron signed up for choir too so Hubby and I actually got to attend the show as a couple and proudly watch our budding stars in action.

Hubby has a reputation for an impromptu snooze whenever we go to watch a family show, but with his own children having roles, I was happy to note he was rapt throughout clapping away.

When it was the turn of our children’s school and some of the pupils put on a dazzling display of back flips and cartwheels, Hubby commented with pride: “Cameron’s quite good at cartwheels isn’t he?”

I hadn’t actually realised Cameron had been one of the children doing the acrobatics and I felt a pang that I was a bad mother for not witnessing my son’s skills and made sure I watched like a hawk so I wouldn’t miss anything else.

However, everything became clear when all the children took to the stage for the grand finale and Hubby remarked: “Cameron looks really short in comparison to the other children. You only realise when they’re all stood next to each other.”

Bemused, I looked at the stage and thought: “He doesn’t look that small!” as Cameron was stood alongside friends who were all a similar height to him. While Cameron is on the short side compared to his tall sister, I didn’t think he was THAT little.

Following Hubby’s line of vision, the penny suddenly dropped – he wasn’t looking at Cameron but the wrong child!

After confirming with Cameron later that he hadn’t done any cartwheels or backflips, it dawned on me Hubby had been watching the wrong boy throughout the show!

What a bad dad! I mean I know they had clown paint on, but fancy not recognising your own flesh and blood! I think I’ll report him to the Royal Society for Cruel Fathers or some such organisation.

I took great delight in praising our children afterwards telling them: “You were amazing. Daddy thought so too… however, he was watching the wrong children!”

Seriously though, we’ve all experienced incidents of mistaken identity – some with far more embarrassing consequences. A male friend sheepishly confessed to once pinching the bottom of someone he thought was his wife – only to fear he would be done for sexual harassment when he realised it wasn’t.

And one female colleague told the tale of when she went to a posh do in a marquee and went to the bar to get a drink but needed some cash, so after spotting her husband with his back to her, put her hands into his trouser pockets and helped herself to a few quid.

She wanted the ground to swallow her up when the man turned round and she realised she’d been ferreting around in a stranger’s trousers.

My own story about mistaken identity actually makes me sound a bit racist – but I can assure you I’m not! It is from when my twins were babies and I regularly went along to a clinic to get them weighed.

During my regular visits I got chatting to a friendly Chinese lady who would attend the clinic with her baby daughter Ashleigh.

As the need to get babies weighed regularly diminishes as they grow I hadn’t been to baby clinic in a while, but Hubby and I went together with our twosome when they were around one for a jab.

Suddenly spotting a Chinese mum and her daughter, I greeted her warmly saying: “Hi! How are you?” “Fine thank you.” she replied politely but did look a little bewildered at the friendliness of my greeting.

Like a bulldozer, I steamed on. “I haven’t seen you for AGES! And how’s Ashleigh?”

I suddenly realised why Hubby had slunk away in embarrassment and was standing behind a corner sniggering at me when the lady replied.

“My daughter’s name isn’t Ashleigh. But there is another Chinese lady with a girl called Ashleigh. You must mean her.”

I’d got the wrong Chinese mum! Oh the shame. I hurriedly booked myself in for an eye test.